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US: OSHA Cites Tool Maker

Hartford Courant
December 27th, 2006

A West Hartford tool manufacturing plant has been cited for widespread safety and health hazards for the third time in six years by the Hartford office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency said Tuesday.

Holo-Krome Inc., part of the tool group of Danaher Corp., was cited for 26 alleged "willful, repeat and serious violations of standards" after an inspection that began in August, OSHA said. It has proposed penalties totaling $247,000.

In the most serious violation, OSHA said Holo-Krome had bypassed or removed safety devices that protected workers from moving machine parts, resulting in a hand injury to a worker. That allegation carried a $70,000 proposed fine.

Eleven violations, accounting for $138,000 in fines, were repeat citations for hazards such as those found in the plant two years ago, OSHA said. Among them were unguarded or poorly guarded power presses, grinders and other equipment; exposed live electrical parts; a lack of warning signs and asbestos training; and a lack of annual reviews of steps to prevent an accidental start-up of machinery.

Fourteen citations, carrying $39,500 in proposed fines, were issued for alleged "serious" violations, including lead accumulation on work surfaces; a lack of noise controls and hearing protection for workers; confined space hazards; and improper use of electrical cords. These 14 citations were listed as "serious," meaning that death or serious injury is likely to result and that the employer knew or should have known about the violation.

Officials at Holo-Krome and Danaher could not be reached Tuesday. A recording said the company was closed for the holiday.

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